The Canadian Press
Hello, Kian Schaffer-Baker. When you took off your helmet following your touchdown on Saturday night, that was one of the great reveals of all-time. I had no idea your hair was that wonderfully impressive. It just roared to life, expanding regally and flowing majestically in the summery Regina breeze.
The only thing that could’ve made the moment more epic would’ve been if the game ops crew had been playing the sax solo from “Careless Whisper” at the time.
Is that ridiculously perfect mane the source of your powers? Are you the Samson of the CFL?
Here are the Week 4 takeaways.
THE UNIVERSE WANTS BALANCE AND IT SHALL HAVE IT
How else do we explain the wild, Twilight Zone-worthy game that we witnessed, on Monday night, in Toronto?
There is a great big cosmic pendulum swinging over us all and it will never stop. Winnipeg’s 23-22 win over the Argos is more proof of that. Toronto gets a strange, Salvador Dali painting of a touchdown out of a play that looked like a certain interception. Not long after that, the Blue Bombers get an odd, Jackson Pollock fumble recovery just as the Argos were about to march in and tie things up.
Balance. Crazy, abstract-impressionist balance.
Sometimes, the universe evens things up rapidly like that. Other times, it waits two weeks. The Argos were winners against Montreal when an easy-peasy 21-yard field goal is missed in Week 2. Then, Monday night, after a stirring, lightning fast march to bring them to within a point of Winnipeg with seconds remaining, that extra point vanishes in the placekicking Bermuda Triangle which exists in the area directly adjacent to the left upright at the south end of BMO Field.
The universe wants balance. The universe is gonna do what the universe is gonna do. And the universe is a big weirdo, man.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: Did you see the look on Michael Clemons’ face when he made his way to the Toronto sideline after the Brandon Banks beef erupted? Do NOT make Pinball Clemons leave his suite and come down to the field to straighten you out. You think he will not turn this car around right now, young man? Just try him. He will totally turn this car around right now if you don’t knock it off.
I’D SAY KEEP CHOPPING BUT I DON’T KNOW IF THAT MATTERS
BC’s Keon Hatcher had a big time game against the Ottawa REDBLACKS on Thursday. He caught all seven balls thrown his way for a total of 166 yards and a touchdown in a dominant display, one that is becoming more and more commonplace for the second-year receiver.
He’s big, he’s fast. He is all arms and hands and will dominate up-top fights for the football. And he is what you’d call a challenge to bring down.
Keon Hatcher is the giant redwood of CFL receivers. That is, you know, if a giant redwood could run and catch. Good luck, lumberjacks – I mean defensive backs.
IT’S A GIVE AND TAKE RELATIONSHIP THEY’VE GOT GOING IN SASKY
That Saskatchewan defence was revved up once again on Saturday, taking full control of the game in a 41-20 victory over the Montreal Alouettes. (Side note: Revenge is a dish best served in a hollowed out watermelon.)
Six sacks? Defensive end Pete Robertson – who had two of ‘em and leads the league with seven this season – went out of his way to credit the Roughriders’ secondary for all those QB pelts.
“People have gotta understand that a lot of sacks are coverage sacks,” said Robertson. “The back end are doin’ their job. I wanna give very, very huge props to our back end ‘cause they definitely held it down today.”
But when it came to defensive back Nick Marshall’s interception return for a touchdown? “We’re definitely gonna take credit,” a cheeky Robertson said. But, then, he gave some serious insight into the up-front play that led to Montreal quarterback Trevor Harris having to hurry a throw while under big, big pressure.
“We gave some pressure,” said Robertson. “The coverage was planned within that defensive call. It helped Nick to really play aggressive and play like he wanted to play.”
Happy relationships are a two-way street.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: Seriously, though. Kian Schaffer-Baker’s flow.
CONFIRMED: HE’S FAST
Tre Ford was fast, fast, fast during his career with the Waterloo Warriors. And he was fast whenever he tested at pro days and the like.
There is university football fast, and combine fast. But then, there is pro football fast. Does the speed displayed really translate to the in-game, professional level?
Tre Ford answered that question with authority in quarterbacking the Edmonton Elks to their first win of the season, in Hamilton. If Ford’s abilities in throwing the ball and in becoming a complete, elite quarterback are still undetermined – that’s not an insult, by the way, that’s just a cautious view on a rookie who’s just starting out – his overland abilities seem not to be. Tre Ford is fast. Pro fast.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: After the pinwheel seemed to be spinning endlessly for the first few weeks, the progress bar finally leapt forward on Friday night. That Edmonton defence is loading, y’all.
HE’S A GOOD MAN, THAT QUARTERBACK
It was obvious that Arbuckle was trying to console a deeply upset Evans, who sat on the Hamilton bench, taking the entire weight of a crushing loss on his shoulders, after the nightmare of throwing two second-half interceptions and fumbling in the dying minutes of a game that completely got away from him.
Arbuckle, himself, had his own disappointment to process after being dropped to backup status as the Elks went with Ford as the starter. It occurs to me that Arbuckle’s CFL journey has been dotted with more than his own fair share of trials and tribulations, so his instinct to go to an opponent in distress is that much more inspiring.
In one way, then – the most important way – Nick Arbuckle remains a QB1. *Fist bump emoji*
AND FINALLY… I don’t think the Argos are gonna be able to bring back Chandler Worthy this time.